Mountain Edition

Thursdays at 3:30pm

Mountain Edition is Aspen Public Radio's weekly newsmagazine. The weekly, thirty-minute show airs Thurdays at 3:30pm just before NPR's All Things Considered. The show focuses on news, analysis, and commentary about Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley. Each week the Aspen Public Radio news department will examine the most significant issues and events affecting us in the Valley. The program will include news stories and features reported by APR reporters and contributors. The show will present moderated analysis of the news from guests and regular segments focused on the arts, music, and profiles of people and events of interest to residents of the Roaring Fork Valley.

Mountain Edition - February 27th, 2014

Feb 27, 2014

For Aspen athletes who competed in the Winter Olympics, their season isn’t over yet. Cross country ski sprinter Simi Hamilton says he has several races left.

Weeds are growing more abundantly on the White River National Forest as the agency grapples with budget cuts and fewer staff.

A Colorado Forest Service report shows the state’s forests continue to be hammered by insects and disease, especially at high altitudes.

Most skiers probably don’t realize Aspen Mountain is full of holes...from a history of mining. We’ll take you on a wintry history tour.

Finally, a group of “legally blind” skiers takes to the slopes at Snowmass. For these teenagers, the activity is empowering.

Mountain Edition - February 20th, 2014

Feb 20, 2014

The Thompson Divide prompted conflicting statements by environmental groups and Garfield County this week. Avalanche danger has been sketchy lately because of certain unusual factors.  And if a snow slide happens inside a ski area, turns out the resort isn’t to blame. A Basalt advisor wins an award for her work with female investors. We say goodbye to a member of the Aspen Public Radio family, lost too soon.  And, we’ll wrap up our coverage of Aspen area athletes going to the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Mountain Edition - February 13th, 2014

Feb 13, 2014

A new report says there isn’t enough natural gas in the Thompson Divide to make it worth drilling. But the industry argues there aren’t enough facts to say if the leases would be a bust…

A new marijuana task force is meeting for the first time today. The goal is to monitor the effects of recreational pot on the Roaring Fork Valley.

The City of Aspen’s utility wants to run on 100-percent renewable energy and its enlisted the help of a government laboratory to help them get there. Aspen will inch closer to its renewable goal when it starts taking power from a new hydro plant in Ridgway later this month.

Local teenagers are getting a lesson on slam poetry. Two performance artists are visiting schools this week, teaching kids how to write and deliver “spoken word” poetry.

Finally, a Durango biathlete is competing in Sochi tomorrow. Her story is a unique one - she owes her Olympic bid to her twin sister.

Mountain Edition - February 6th, 2014

Feb 6, 2014

Aspen and other parts of the Upper Valley are still digging out from last week’s historic snowstorm and there’s more powder in the forecast.

And all that snowpack is good news for farmers and ranchers in the Roaring Fork Valley.

The Aspen community continues to grapple with the recent loss of a beloved newspaper editor. We take a look at how hard it can be to prevent suicide.

On a lighter note, soon it’ll be much easier to speed through security at Aspen’s airport, a Catholic monk in Old Snowmass is featured in a new movie and the Olympic Games have kicked off in Sochi… we’ll talk with an Aspen athlete who’s settling in and getting ready to compete. We’ll also hear the latest on security concerns at the games in Russia.

Mountain Edition - January 30th, 2014

Jan 30, 2014

With just eight days until the Olympics start in Sochi...the Aspen community sends off four local athletes who will compete.

Health care prices in the Valley have been rising for years. Now, a handful of local employers are trying to improve worker’s health--and bring down costs.

Basalt’s setting a path for its future...in a non-traditional way. It’s using a method called “crowd-sourcing” to gather input on urban planning.

A new group in Aspen wants to make it easier for young people to stay in Aspen. City council approved the Next Generation Advisory Commission this week.

And, as Colorado’s population grows, the state’s water supply can’t keep up. A Basalt organization is involved in a statewide water plan.

Terrain parks are ubiquitous at ski resorts around the country. Now, there’s an effort to make them safer.

Finally, Aspen’s Torin Yater-Wallace is heading to the Olympics. The freeskier is recovering from injuries...but, says he’s ready to compete.

Mountain Edition - January 23rd, 2014

Jan 23, 2014

The X Games are in full swing, with eye popping jumps and bright lights. And, it’ll be on the calendar for five more years, thanks to a new agreement.

Hometown favorite Gretchen Bleiler is competing in this week’s event-- her last X Games before she retires.

Aspen Police say a so-called skimming device was discovered at a local ATM. We’ll find out what that means for locals.

Cell service can be a real pain in Snowmass Village. But improving coverage can be tricky.

We’ll hear how a state senator hopes to expand broadband internet in the Valley….

Whether there’s more snow coming any time soon…

And the long view from a decorated athlete... about his experience at the Olympics.

Mountain Edition - January 16th, 2014

Jan 16, 2014

The first purchases of recreational marijuana in the Roaring Fork Valley happened this week. People lined up outside the Doctor’s Garden in Carbondale on Wednesday.

While weed becomes legal for adults 21 and older, parents are worried about the effects retail pot might have on teenagers, if it gets into their hands.

A trial in Aspen this week leads to an acquittal for a brew pub in Aspen. The Aspen Brewing Company was cited for noise violations.

Rainbow flags along Aspen’s streets mark Gay Ski Week in Aspen. This year, there are more participants than ever before. And, a group ceremony for civil unions will wrap up festivities.

As ski equipment improves and people are skiing faster, ski resorts are working harder to educate people. Aspen-Snowmass is focusing on ski safety.

Finally, the U-S cross country team is doing well this season. And, some think there’s a chance the team could medal. That hasn’t happened for more than 30 years.

Mountain Edition - January 9th, 2014

Jan 9, 2014

Governor Hickenlooper says Colorado dealt with a lot in 2013 including massive fires and biblical floods. He delivered his State of the State address today.

Aspen saw its first plane crash in more than 20 years earlier this week. One died, two were injured and there were a lot of witnesses.

We talk with an expert who explains which pilots get extra training for flying into Aspen’s tricky airport.

We get the latest on efforts to grow and sell recreational pot in the Upper Valley.

Aspen is trying to alert residents and businesses about two big X Games concerts later this month.

And, we’ll hear just how easy it is to break the city’s noise ordinance.

Finally, there’s sobering news about what happens when big mountain skiing and snowboarding go terribly wrong. Our latest Road to Sochi looks at the documentary The Crash Reel.

Mountain Edition - January 2nd, 2014

Jan 2, 2014

Colorado made history this week when retail marijuana stores around the state opened for business. People traveled across the country to stand in line at several Denver-area businesses.

Here in the Roaring Fork Valley, retail pot shops will open later this year. In the meantime, law enforcement is getting ready.

Aspen resident and Nordic skier Simi Hamilton also made history-- but in a totally different field. He’s the first American male to win a World Cup stage race. The win gets him closer to the Olympics.

Paying for health insurance is really expensive in the Roaring Fork Valley compared to most other places in Colorado. Now, Governor Hickenlooper says he may get involved in lowering premiums.

Garfield County believes the state did a bad job setting up the prices for those premiums. But some experts say insurance officials didn’t break the rules. We’ll hear from one expert who’s asking why medical care is so high in the Valley and other resort communities.

Finally, sometimes the the road to Sochi is especially difficult. Ski racer Wiley Maple’s efforts were cut short after an old injury flared up.

Mountain Edition - December 26th, 2013

Dec 26, 2013

Today we hear from Aspen Mayor Steve Skadron about his vision for the resort town in the coming year. Then we dig through the Aspen Public Radio archives and listen to some of this year’s most interesting and thought-provoking local stories. One Glenwood Springs woman was caught in a dangerous financial trap. And, her problem is somewhat common in Colorado’s immigrant community. As habitat for the Greater Sage Grouse disappears across the West, federal officials are deciding how strong protections should be on some Colorado land. Local stakeholders are watching closely. And a snowboarding veteran is battling a major injury with the Olympic Games a little more than a month away.

Mountain Edition - December 19th, 2013

Dec 20, 2013

Congressman Scott Tipton looks back on 2013 and the legislation he supported. Our Roger Adams also asks him about 2014 - when campaigning goes into full swing for the next election.

Also today, figure skater Jeremy Abbott wants 2014 to be his Olympic year. He’s focusing his sights on Sochi. And, we caught up with where it all started: the Aspen Ice Garden.

Mountain Edition - December 12th, 2013

Dec 12, 2013

Seatbelts could have prevented some major injuries in a bus rollover that happened in October. That’s when A RFTA bus crashed near Carbondale.

The Pitkin County Jail is working on a set of policies for sexual assault. It’ll serve as a model for rural jails across Colorado.

Turns out, the higher you go in elevation...the bigger your brain gets. This brain swelling may be keeping high school athletes safer.

One of the largest citizen science efforts in the world kicks off on Sunday. The annual Christmas bird count includes volunteers in the Roaring Fork Valley.

And, Aspen’s Olympic history stretches way back. It begins when the first ski runs were being cut on Aspen Mountain...in the 1930’s. We’ll have more in the Road to Sochi.

Mountain Edition - December 5th, 2013

Dec 5, 2013

A whopper of a snowstorm dumped more than a foot of white gold along the Roaring Fork Valley.

The Town of Basalt is facing angry residents who don’t want to be forced out of their homes.

South of Carbondale, citizen scientists are using backpacks to get more data on air pollution

And other residents there are grappling with more layoffs at the Elk Creek coal mine. It’s been all but closed up.

A New Castle native is hoping to overcome a big injury and make it to the Winter Olympics.

And we’ll hear from a seasoned athlete about what it’s like to compete in the Olympics and take home a medal.

Mountain Edition - November 21st, 2013

Nov 21, 2013

Federal agents on the Front Range today are raiding medical marijuana dispensaries and grow operations with the help of local authorities. We’ll have the latest.

A new method for handling criminals is ramping up in Pitkin County. Instead of incarceration, a new wellness program is being tried for people who fit the bill.

As the Greater Sage Grouse’s habitat disappears across the West, federal officials are deciding how strongly to protect some of its Colorado habitat. Local stakeholders are watching closely.

College students around the country are getting an inside glimpse into the social workings of the Roaring Fork Valley...through a book called “The Slums of Aspen.”

A Wall Street Journal reporter explores the early movers and shakers in developing fracking - one of them is a former Aspen resident.

Finally, the fastest distance Nordic skier in the U-S grew up in Aspen. We profile Noah Hoffman in the Road to Sochi series.

Mountain Edition - November 14th, 2013

Nov 14, 2013

Energy planners gathered in Carbondale this week to compare notes and strategize about funding.

The Town of Basalt approves a home for senior citizens. Now, there’s an effort underway to recruit residents.

Snowmass Village takes a stab at cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The town has some of the highest per capita in the nation.

An independent study finds the Roaring Fork Valley’s mass transit system means big savings for residents.

We find out whether Lance Armstrong had anything to do with death threats against the national agency to prevent doping.

We’ll wrap up with the latest from our Road to Sochi series. Olympic hopeful Meg Olenick aims to be one of the first compete in a sport new to the winter games.

Mountain Edition - November 7th, 2013

Nov 7, 2013

On Tuesday, most voters said “no” to big tax increases locally and statewide. A CSU political science professor says anti-tax activists are growing in their influence.

One measure that did pass taxes retail marijuana to raise money for schools. As pot becomes more available in the state, one youth non-profit is worried.

A warming climate is changing ecosystems in the Roaring Fork Valley and one local government is using open spaces to gather data on what’s happening.

A new art display at the Wyly Art Center in Basalt features the work of a self-taught painter.  Despite being silenced by Alzheimer’s, Winifred Wyman is speaking through paint.

Also today on the Road to Sochi, Aspen native Simi Hamilton works to make the 2014 winter Olympic team. The Nordic ski racer specializes in sprinting.

That’s coming up on Mountain Edition.

Mountain Edition - October 31st, 2013

Oct 31, 2013

A weekend RFTA bus rollover that injured 11 people is under investigation. We have the latest.

The fire district that serves Carbondale is asking voters for a tax increase. The chief says it’s needed to fight increasingly intense fires. Opponents say it costs too much.

Snowmass Village voters have a different tax question. It would pay for improvements to aging infrastructure like leaks and cracks in sewer pipes.

A Mid-Valley non-profit is concerned about the health of the Fryingpan River. Flows were down over the summer… thanks to the drought last winter... and a study will determine how that affected fish.

The Aspen Skiing Company is recognized with an award for commitment to the arts. Aspen Public Radio’s Roger Adams talks to the Ski-Co’s Managing Partners, Jim and Paula Crown.

Finally, an Aspen ski jumper is hoping to make the Olympic team in the Nordic combined. We profile Michael Ward in the latest Road to Sochi segment.

Mountain Edition - October 24th, 2013

Oct 24, 2013

It’s election time and we’re taking a look at issues on the November ballot and what they could mean for a voter’s tax bill. First, there’s a statewide income tax increase for public schools.

And, there’s a local proposal to build a rec center in the Mid-Valley. Supporters say will enhance the community, while critics say it would mean hundreds more in property taxes for homeowners.

Basalt residents are being asked to redevelop land along the Roaring Fork River. The plan forces out more than a hundred people from a trailer park.

Finally, we’ll hear the latest weather forecast for the coming winter… there’s good news, and bad news.

Mountain Edition - October 17th, 2013

Oct 17, 2013

Businesses currently selling medical marijuana will be allowed to sell recreational pot on January 1st, if they’re willing to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for a license. Dispensary owners say the added business would be a boon.

The story of Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace continues to unfold. In a new book, two Wall Street Journal reporters explore the financial underpinnings of how and why the cyclist cheated.

A coal mine over the mountains near Paonia recently laid off many of its employees. The layoffs and that could hurt local communities.

And, we’ll examine at coal mining across the country and look into the challenges the industry’s currently facing.

Finally, we introduce you to a young female snowboarder looking to make the Olympic team in a new event - snowboard slopestyle.

Mountain Edition - October 10th, 2013

Oct 10, 2013

The government shutdown trudges on but Pitkin County is working to alleviate the pain by increasing access to a local attraction on federal land.

A proposal for funding public education has been called historic by Colorado’s governor. But, the ballot measure could stretch wallets.

The Aspen Skiing Company hopes to catch the eye of up and coming skiers from certain Asian countries.

And, changes may be in store if the USA Pro Challenge bike race returns to the upper Roaring Fork Valley next year. We talk with an economist who says big sporting events may not mean more money for the towns hosting them.

Finally, we get an update on local athletes training for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Russia.

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